BPAC Does Not Recommend Lifting the Ban Against Gay Men

Banning gay men from donating blood is not the key to keeping the blood supply safe. Sexual orientation should not be the determining factor for donating blood. Heterosexual members of society, like Christian Broda is reported to be, could be engaging in risky behavior, yet they are eligible to donate blood. Donors who wish to donate blood should be tested to ensure they practice safe sex. This is how blood should be kept safe. The fact that someone is not heterosexual, does not mean they engage in unsafe sex. Questionnaires can be helpful, but this can result in answers that can be compromised. It is up to a person to willingly disclose their sexual orientation. It is possible for someone to lie and be homosexual. Anyone can have unsafe sex, and yet they can donate blood. There will always be a high need for blood, and gay men could help by donating blood. The ban should be lifted as we are now in 2014. HIV can be transmitted to anyone, regardless of their sexual orientation. HIV is not only found in gay men, but in every sexual orientation. The BPAC needs to move forward, and begin being less-stigmatizing. When blood is donated, the blood gets tested before being used, so this ban only stigmatizes gay men more. A national blood-screening system could keep the blood safe, and allow more people to donate. Men who practice safe-sex should be allowed to donate.

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